What would you do with a physical Beeminder button?


I just posted the results of a straw poll about what Beeminder users are automating with If This Then That:

Here are the results of a related straw poll…

What would you do with a physical Beeminder button?

  1. I would use one to track when I got out of bed.
  2. I’d use them for: tracking work pomodoros (I tried to hack one up using an Amazon Dash button but abandoned the project), or putting the button next to my pills so I can take the pills and then hit the button to send the data.
  3. I’d use one for tocks at work, probably.
  4. This is what I have wanted to use to stop biting my nails for a million years.
  5. I would also use one of these to track things like glasses of water or alcoholic drinks.
  6. Tracking grumps!
  7. Flossing.
  8. Beeminding doing loads of laundry. Maybe some other chores that always happen in the same part of the house.
  9. Bedtime goal, eliminating the need to look at my phone to enter data right before bed.
  10. I’ve been working on getting to the office earlier, on average. For this, I have a do-more goal tracking number of minutes before 10am I get in my car (as opposed to when I get to the office, because input vs outcome). But I keep forgetting to check the time before driving away. A nifty visible button would probably help to remind me, and I could just press it and let it do some magic. (And then whenever someone was riding with me, they might ask about it, and I could evangelize!) I’ve thought about setting up something location-based for that goal, but it seems too finicky.
  11. Social media refreshes! (A do-less goal I set up a few days ago.)
  12. I would use them for everything washroom-related (think teeth) and most chores/errands.
  13. I would use them to get started on most things (cf “tiny habits”): reading = read one page + press the button (which is in the reading armchair). Work = write/edit 1 LOC + press the button. Getting started is when most akrasia happens for me. Once it’s started it’s easy to keep going, and the button makes beeminding the action not be an interruption. There’s something very rewarding about “punching” when the thing is done, I think much more than going to some interface to enter a datapoint (be it the app or the website, it’s less rewarding than “punching” that button, I think).
  14. I currently have 2 piles of countable items, that grow naturally and aim to be shrunk down to 0 (think mailbox). One is counted by hand (on a small whiteboard), the other is left uncounted. I’d use a button for both. Ideally they could count both up and down (e.g. doublepressing), but as they grow one by one and shrink by 10-30 batches, one up-counting button would be good enough.
  15. I’d use a physical button for logging some type of mundane task that I don’t have a great mental cue for. Examples include beeminding wake-up time (send a timestamp when clicked) by putting it next to the shower or brushing my teeth by sticking it on/near the toothbrush charger, etc. Both of those would be easy to forget to log because normally I’ve got something else on my mind when I do it. I could just put a Beeminder sticker there and that might be my mental cue, but nothing drops friction quite like just being able to push a button.
  16. Anything people use the IFTT “Do” button for. Prior to Complice, that included pomodoros for me. Currently that could also include stretching on work breaks, etc. I do get up and stretch, but I don’t want to beemind it because I find that I remember to log it like <50% of the time. Then I say I don’t want to weasel and just do extra, but if I’m ever on the verge of derailing I get frustrated cause “screw this I know in reality I’ve done way more than is shown here.” Stuff like that.
  17. I have a physical Beeminder button I use for a “clean counters” goal. I would love to have one for every “do X Y times per week” goal I have, though! The physical button makes it easier for me to remember for enter my data, for some reason.
  18. I could use it for Habits I’m developing with eating (eg, stop eating before full).
  19. Bedtime. Hook it up to log the time & trigger various other phone things like turning off tagtime LED notifications. Just like turning off a light.
  20. I would use it for my brushing teeth at night and flossing goals. Hit the button when I brush/floss.
  21. Having a physical button to press to add a +1 to my ‘Pomodoros of intense, focused work’ goal would hopefully become a habit very quickly and feel awesome.
  22. I would use it with something like TOD[{TimeClicked}] and have a goal to hit it before 6:30am, to ensure I actually get out of bed, go downstairs, and hit it every morning, which should have knock-on effects on other goals by making sure I have time to do some writing/daily-planning in the morning. That should be quite high value and weasel-proof.
  23. I’d make the button trigger a daisy chain to check my spreadsheet and see if I completed my task within the time limit and, if so, to add my points for that top task to my game XP (and then do some cleanup so it’s ready for the next task)
  24. I’d give it to my grandmother to have her be able to click it. Then, when she does, it would add a negative datapoint to a Beeminder graph, making that graph go into beemergency mode, and prompting an alert. Then, when I call her, I’d add another, positive, datapoint. That way she could use it whenever she feels like “just chatting” without the (immovable) worry she had that calling me is interrupting me.
  25. All sorts of do-less behaviors, since it is kind of a barrier to make myself get out my phone just to input that I did something bad. I’ve been reluctant to do it in case I end up half-assing for that reason, and I think a button would mostly solve that.
  26. I’d stick it to my vitamin bottle.
  27. Keep measuring my blood pressure daily or at least a few times a week.


Ooh, I would use it to track my skin-picking. I’d start with a really generous rate on a do-less goal until I knew how much I was actually having to use it, and then I’d reduce the allowed amount each week until it got down to a level where I do not have obvious lesions on my arms or legs.

… I really want this now.


(Not trying to derail, but I use one of these counting rings
(http://www.critsuccess.com/index.php/lcr-counter-ring.html) to track
my nail biting/picking and cuticle picking.)